A better understanding of TIII networks for DSDPlus Fastlane users

Greetings once again to all during what is undoubtedly both interesting and frustrating times.

As many of you may be aware in recent years the use of Software Defined Radio (SDR) has increased in popularity. The use of SDR by way of relatively cheap and easily accessible dongles or a more refined hardware built of purpose kit such as HackRF One, NooElec, Airspy and a number of other manufactures offers people a way in to the scanning hobby when faced with a tight budget.

The other thing the above devices do is introduce compatibility to other pieces of software which you gives you increased options and flexibility.

One of the most popular would undoubtedly be DSDPlus and its offshoot DSDPlus Fastlane.

One frustration many have experienced is that many networks can actually share a network ID and DSDPlus invariably always seems to default to a single network name, site, and frequency detail, meaning your configuration may not display a network as you’d hope for or reflect details of another network from your files.

One of our forum members, Smiley who seems to live, breath, eat and dream DSDPlus and has been kind enough to offer his solution for overcoming the above issue.

For the provided examples we’re simply using ‘System Example A’ and ‘System Example B’ as the system names, yourself however would replace such with the desired name of the system you’re monitoring. Also remember to replace those ‘X’s with the required frequencies.

So with thanks to Smiley we can offer the below:

Due to a fair amount of people having issues, including myself, setting up a TIII Network in the many dsdplus files and not having success in getting the software to work in our favour and correctly display a target network I’ve decided to write this as an education tool for all who use this software.

All software I may make mention of in this article are ones I use from my personal experience and may assist in this exercise.

I recommend using a notepad editor such as Notepad++, as it has the ability to keep multiple tabs in much the same way Google Chrome does for an internet browser.

Multiple files will need to be edited and include the following:

  • DSDPlus.frequencies
  • DSDPlus.networks
  • DSDPlus.sites
  • DSDPlus.siteLoader
  • The two types of network details generally display as;

  • (Network Size)(Network)-(Area).(Site)
  • OR

  • (Network Size)(Network)-(Site)
  • When a system control channel (CC) is first discovered, it may display in one of two ways, examples of which can be seen in the following images;

    System Example A: (Network Size)(Network)-(Area).(Site)

    OR

    System Example B: (Network Size)(Network)-(Site)

    Not all sites will run by “area.site” prefixes. Depending on the network administrators setup, it may be a ‘Site’ only setup which can be determined if there is no decimal in a site number as shown in the difference between the above images.

    After these details have been discovered, we can determine what details are required for the previously mentioned DSDPlus files.

    For the DSDPlus.frequencies file, the example is,

    Protocol, in this case ‘TIII’, networkID (Remove the alpha charater and use the number), ‘Site number’ which is located next to the network details under “Current site”.

    For the two Examples shown, these are both a TIII system, with a network ID of ‘1’ but a site number of 1.1 and 57 respectively.

    DSDPlus states to enter the site number as an area.site setup which is 1.1 for the first system but displaying only 57 for the second system. These details are placed into the DSDplus files as is and without any calculations.

    Under the DSDPlus.frequencies file all that needs to be input for each system is:

    SYSTEM EXAMPLE A
    Protocol               Network              Site        LSN        FREQ TX               FREQ RX               SORT
    TIII,                        1:1,                         1.1,         1,            XXX.XXXX,           XXX.XXXX,          0
    SYSTEM EXAMPLE B
    Protocol               Network              Site        LSN        FREQ TX               FREQ RX               SORT
    TIII,                         2:1,                         57,         1,            XXX.XXXX,         XXX.XXXX,            0

    Now would be the time to update the DSDPlus.networks file which is similar to the above but will now add a name to the end. TIII area length is always calculated by DSDPlus so add a 0 to each line as follows. It should be noted these files are in CSV format (comma separated value) format which is why everything is followed up by a comma.

    SYSTEM EXAMPLE A
    Protocol               Network              Site        “network name”              TIIIareaLength
    TIII,                        1,                            1.1,         “SYSTEM EXAMPLE A”,                       0
    SYSTEM EXAMPLE B
    Protocol               Network              Site        “network name”
    TIII,                        1,                            57,          “SYSTEM EXAMPLE B”,                       0

    Now we now turn our attention to the next stage which is the DSDPlus.sites file.
    Pretty simple once again and as listed above, but this time instead of a system name a site name has to be mentioned at the end.

    SYSTEM EXAMPLE A
    Protocol               Network              Site        “Site name”
    TIII,                        1,                            1.1,         “Melbourne”
    SYSTEM EXAMPLE B
    Protocol               Network              Site        “Site name”
    TIII,                        1,                            57,          “Ballarat”

    Now we finally move onto the DSDPlus.siteLoader file.

    Copy and paste the exact same details as mentioned above for the DSDPlus.sites file, except change the name of the site to include the organisations name (for future reference).

    SYSTEM EXAMPLE A
    Protocol               Network              Site        “Site name”
    TIII,                        1,                            1.1,         “SYSTEM A – Melbourne”
    SYSTEM EXAMPLE B
    Protocol               Network              Site        “Site name”
    TIII,                        1,                            57,          “SYSTEM B – Ballarat”

    The issue at the end of all this is DSDPlus will always default to a single network name, site, and frequency detail. The work around to this is by doing what’s known as a ‘NID conflict’.
    To correct this change the Network ID by adding (NUM): to the start, and add “; NID conflict” at the end of each line you have filled.

    Example:

    DSDPlus.frequencies

    SYSTEM EXAMPLE A
    Protocol               Network              Site        LSN        FREQ TX               FREQ RX               SORT
    TIII,                        1:1,                          1.1,         1,          XXX.XXXX,          XXX.XXXX,           0; NID conflict
    SYSTEM EXAMPLE B
    Protocol               Network              Site        LSN        FREQ TX               FREQ RX               SORT
    TIII,                        2:1,                         57,          1,          XXX.XXXX,           XXX.XXXX,            0; NID conflict

    DSDPlus.networks

    SYSTEM EXAMPLE A
    Protocol               Network              Site        “network name”              TIIIareaLength
    TIII,                        1:1,                         1.1,         “SYSTEM A”,                       0                              ; NID conflict
    SYSTEM EXAMPLE B
    Protocol               Network              Site        “network name”
    TIII,                        2:1,                         57,          “SYSTEM B”,                      0                               ; NID conflict

    DSDPlus.sites

    SYSTEM EXAMPLE A
    Protocol               Network              Site        “Site name”
    TIII,                        1:1,                         1.1,         “Melbourne”     ; NID conflict
    SYSTEM EXAMPLE B
    Protocol               Network              Site        “Site name”
    TIII,                        2:1,                         57,          “Ballarat”             ; NID conflict

    Once completed, the ‘NID conflict’ part will change to ‘NID conflict resolved’. Unfortunately not all will though.

    An example of all the data being typed into DSDPlus files are as followed;

    DSDPlus.frequencies file
    Go to the bottom of file page

    ;SYSTEM EXAMPLE A

    TIII,                          1:1,     57, 1, XXX.XXXX, XXX.XXXX, 0; NID conflict

    TIII,                          1:1,     57, 3, XXX.XXXX, XXX.XXXX, 0;  NID conflict

    TIII,                          1:1,     57, 5, XXX.XXXX, XXX.XXXX, 0;  NID conflict

    ;SYSTEM EXAMPLE B

    TIII,                          2:1,   1.1,  1, XXX.XXXX, XXX.XXXX, 0;  NID conflict

    TIII,                          2:1,   1.1,  3, XXX.XXXX, XXX.XXXX, 0;  NID conflict

    TIII,                          2:1,   1.1,  5, XXX.XXXX, XXX.XXXX, 0;  NID conflict

    DSDPlus.networks file
    Go to the bottom of file page

    TIII,      1:1, “SYSTEM EXAMPLE A”, 0;  NID conflict

    TIII,      2:1, “SYSTEM EXAMPLE B”, 0;  NID conflict

    DSDPlus.sites file
    Go to the bottom of file page

    TIII,     1:1,    1.1,   “SYSTEM EXAMPLE A – MELBOURNE”;  NID conflict

    TIII,     2:1,    57,   “SYSTEM EXAMPLE B – BALLARAT”; NID conflict

    DSDPlus.siteLoader file
    Go to the bottom of file page

    TIII,          1:1,     1.1,   “SYSTEM EXAMPLE A – MELBOURNE”

    TIII,          2:1,     57,   “SYSTEM EXAMPLE B – BALLARAT”

    To add to this the DSDPlus.radios file will add radio ID’s for 2 separate systems so a radio alias can be assigned to each individual radio ID that is displayed for each system.

    It should be noted that this will only operate on DSDPlus under the FMPCC/VC software portion of the application.

    If you have further questions to this please don’t hesitate to sign up to our vrz.boards.net forum and ask the resident DSD guru Smiley for any tips and tricks to make your radio scanning days more interesting.

    I’d like to thank Smiley for his work, effort, participation and willingness to share his knowledge base. It is greatly appreciated.

    Stay safe folks and happy scanning!



    Categories:General, Hobby Chat, Software Defined Radio

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